Information about the Observatory

GDPO LogoNational and international drug policies and programmes that privilege  harsh law enforcement and punishment in an effort to eliminate the cultivation, production, trade and use of controlled substances – what has become known as the ‘war on drugs’ – are coming under increased scrutiny. The Global Drug Policy Observatory aims to promote evidence and human rights based drug policy through the comprehensive and rigorous reporting, monitoring and analysis of policy developments at national and international levels. Acting as a platform from which to reach out to and engage with broad and diverse audiences, the initiative aims to help improve the sophistication and horizons of the current policy debate among the media and elite opinion formers as well as within law enforcement and policy making communities. The Observatory engages in a range of research activities that explore not only the dynamics and implications of existing and emerging policy issues, but also the processes behind policy shifts at various levels of governance.


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Our Projects

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Featured Publications

Featured Publications

White Drug Cultures and Regulation in London, 1916-1960

Stringer/Palgrave, 2018

Christopher Hallam

GDPO Research Associate Dr Chris Hallam's beautifully crafted monograph traces the history of the London 'white drugs' (opiate and cocaine) subculture from the First World War to the end of the classic 'British System' of drug prescribing in the 1960s. It also examines the regulatory forces that tried to suppress non-medical drug use, in both their medical and juridical forms. Drugs subcultures were previously thought to have begun as part of the post-war youth culture, but in fact they existed from at least the 1930s. In this book, two networks of drug users are explored, one emerging from the disaffected youth of the aristocracy, the other from the night-time economy of London's West End. Their drug use was caught up in a kind of dance whose steps represented cultural conflicts over identity and the modernism and Victorianism that coexisted in interwar Britain.

Click here to preview or buy on Amazon: White Drug Cultures and Regulation in London, 1916-1960

GDPO Quarterly News: July 2018 – October 2018

GDPO Quarterly News: Julyl 2018 – October 2018

While keeping busy with a range of ‘low noise’ impact related activities, the Quarter was relatively quiet in terms of public facing work.  That said, September saw the results of a long-planned research expedition to India by Dave and TNI’s Tom Blickman come to fruition.  There they liaised closely with GDPO Technical Advisor Romesh Bhattacharji on a range of activities relating to the cannabis policy reform project, and specifically ongoing work  on the updated version of the 2014 TNI-GDPO publication, The Rise and Decline of Cannabis Prohibition.     In addition to meetings and interviews with parliamentarians in New Delhi, fieldwork included a return trip to the Himachal Pradesh to examine changes within the cannabis market since a first visit in 2014 (See QN below) and an excursion into the largely unstudied cannabis producing regions of Uttarakhand. Relating some initial impressions from this fieldwork to broader policy discussions, Tom was interviewed by the Delhi Post which subsequently published a story titled Seek drug reform within international law. ...

To read more, and to see previous quarterly news reports, click here

GDPO Situation Analysis

The GDPO Situation Analysis provides the diversity of stakeholders within the drug policy arena with concise, cutting edge assessment of key topics, enabling informed engagement with pertinent developments and debates. Presented in a focused and standardised format, the SA flags risks, opportunities and future trends in crucial issue areas, delivering to readers actionable information and evidence based insight.

Click here to read all our Situation Analysis